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McLaren MP4-12C vs. Ferrari 458 and Porsche 997 Turbo

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Here is an interesting drag race between three beautiful cars: the new McLaren MP4-12C, the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Porsche 911 Turbo. Most likely, this clip was recorded a couple of days ago at the MP4-12C media event which was organized in Portimao, Portugal. The result it isn’t very concluding, but it still is quite interesting to see the duel.

Speaking of McLaren, they finally revealed all the specifications of their new MP4-12C model which will have a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that outputs 592 hp (441 kW / 600 PS) and 443 lb.-ft (600 Nm) of torque. With such power under the hood, the car can sprint to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds (3.1 with the Corsa tires), onto a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h). To reach 200 km/h (124 mph), the McLaren MP4-12C needs 9.1 seconds with regular tires and 8.9 with the Corsa racing rubber.

The car’s MonoCell carbon-fiber chassis weights only 165 lbs (75 kg) which helps maintain the vehicle’s curb weight at only 2868 lbs (1301 kg). The engine is mated to a 7-speed SSG gearbox that offers three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Track.

The car will be available through a network of 35 retailers located in 19 countries and it will have a base price of about $229,000. The MP4-12C will hit the dealerships sometime this year.

Source: WorldCarFans

McLaren MP4-12C targets Porsche owners, US CEO says

When the McLaren MP4-12C supercar was unveiled, people said that it will rival the Ferrari 458 Italia, as its twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 was capable of 600 HP and the price was pretty close to that of the fire-prone 458 Italia.

According to the CEO of McLaren USA, Anthony Joseph, things aren’t exactly so. In terms of customers, the British company competes with Porsche, as they both target people who want performance over brand name. Ferrari customers, on the other hand, want the prestige of the brand first, and performance later.

Still, even though it competes with lower priced Porsche models, Joseph says that around 2,700 letters of interest have been filed for the MP4-12C. Even though concrete orders haven’t been taken just yet, the new supercar is expected to exceed the first year sales estimates of 1,000 cars.

Last but not least, the McLaren USA CEO has also confirmed that new models and MP4-12C versions will appear in the next few years, as previously rumored.


McLaren might launch five new models in five years

McLaren is definitely stepping up its game with the new MP4-12C, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t planning other new models, in order to become a proper, large scale supercar company.

We’ve already heard the company is working on a successor to the iconic McLaren F1 hypercar, as well as on a smaller model, designed to compete against the Porsche 911.

Now, according to a brand new report, McLaren will launch five new models in the next five years. You can be sure that the aforementioned all-new cars will be a part of those five and, with a few logical deductions, the other two might be based on the MP4-12C.

A dedicated race car will no doubt appear, in order to please customers that are really into racing, while the other one might be the rumored 2+2 four-seat version of the new supercar.

Still, these are just speculations at the moment, but given McLaren’s new appetite for the sportscar market, you can be sure that the next few years are going to be very interesting.


McLaren F1 successor might arrive as early as 2012

After revealing the mighty impressive McLaren MP4-12C, the British supercar manufacturer can now focus on developing a successor to the iconic McLaren F1 hypercar.

While some report have deemed a possible release date around 2014, a new report coming from the blokes at Autocar suggests that the F1 replacement might be revealed as early as 2012.

According to the British magazine, McLaren engineers are hard at work developing the best car the company can create, with “revolutionary” styling and performance specifications.

Knowing McLaren and its attention to detail, the F1 successor will no doubt be an impressive beast. Still, 2012 is awfully close, so until we hear it straight from Ron Dennis, don’t get your hopes too high. Until then though, the MP4-12C is more than adequate to fill the gap.


McLaren might be preparing 2+2 version of the MP4-12C

McLaren‘s latest foray into the supercar segment, the upcoming MP4-12C, has been at the center of quite a lot of rumors. From before its initial unveiling, to afterwards when a convertible or a track-only race car versions were rumored, speculation has been a given when talking about the new British supercar.

Now, we chalk another one up for the McLaren MP4-12C, as a report indicates that the company is preparing a special 2+2 version of the supercar. Currently, the model is scheduled to appear with just two seats.

According to the report, the longer version would house a second row of seats, perfect for when you’re going out with your mates around the block/track. This would make the MP4-12C the first four-seater in the history of McLaren, as it only got close to the number with the unique 1+2 McLaren F1.

Still, don’t go making reservations just yet, as McLaren hasn’t commented on this new rumor.


McLaren invests in carbon fiber technology for its supercars

McLaren has just joined other carmakers like BMW or Mercedes-Benz who have partnered up with specialized carbon fiber companies to produce materials set to be used on current road-going cars.

While BMW or Mercedes want to use carbon fiber components on everyday cars, McLaren’s new partnership with Salzburg-based Carbo Tech will see the material used on all future supercars, including the upcoming MP4-12C.

McLaren invested a total of around $185 million and will help Carbo Tech build a new plant dedicated to supplying carbon fiber monocoque to the carmaker.

“Carbon monocoques are particularly light and thus reduce the CO2 emissions of the vehicles while at the same time offering improved strength, structural rigidity and engineering predictability, resulting in better driving dynamics,” said McLaren in a statement.

As we’ve mentioned before, the first car to enjoy the new component is the MP4-12C, whose monocoque body weighs just 176 pounds (80 kg) while still meeting crash standards.



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McLaren will only make sportscars, no sedans or SUVs

Speaking during yesterday’s official presentation of the MP4-12C sportscar, McLaren head honcho Ron Dennis revealed to the press that future models coming from the new McLaren Automotive division will only be sportscars, with just two seats.

“We intend to have a diverse product range but they will all have two seats,” he said. “This is our heritage – we are sportscar makers and the engine will be in the back of all our cars.”

This way, Dennis denied any rumors that his company would go the route of Porsche, which revealed the Cayenne SUV and Panamera sedan, or Aston Martin, which launched the Rapide sedan recently. During the conference Dennis was even asked, jokingly, about an MP4-12C crossover. He immediately smiled alongside his colleagues.

Sticking with future plans for McLaren, the company said that it wants to get two new models out there, one targeted at the Porsche 911 market segment, and one to continue the heritage of the iconic F1 hypercar.

Until then, Dennis revealed that McLaren will be available to future MP4-12C customers in aiding to spec the car for professional racing. He also said that while a special track car might appear, based on the new model, a one-make series is out of the question, at least for now.

We’re thrilled that McLaren is joining the supercar game, and although we don’t blame Porsche or Aston for their decisions, it’s nice that McLaren will keep its name pure. What do you think? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.


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McLaren officially details the MP4-12C

Today McLaren has finally taken the first step in becoming a proper carmaker with the release of the MP4-12C supercar. The company’s new division, McLaren Automotive, will soon reveal new models and won’t stick to collaborations, like the recent Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR or limited models like the iconic McLaren F1.

The new MP4-12C was officially detailed, complete with power ratings and a release window of early 2011. The car will be powered by the M838T engine, a twin-turbo, direct injection V8 unit, capable of 600 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm, and can supply 80% of that torque between 2,000 and 6,500 rpm. For those fond of comparisons, the numbers are bigger than the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG or the Lamborghini Gallardo.

The power is, of course, sent straight to the rear wheels, through a bespoke seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The special transmission has a Pre-Cog system, meaning that if you gently take your foot off the accelerator after stepping down, it will immediately have the next gear ready, so that you can step down once more and get immediate power.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis revealed that while the MP4-12C won’t be the absolute best in technology or power, customers will be treated with the outmost respect and will enjoy the best build quality around. As testimony to this, he showcased the various Formula 1-inspired systems like the electronic differential system, the brake steer system, an air brake (like the one on the SLR) and a new system of hydraulic actuators, which completely replace anti-roll bars. These actuators allow for wider wheel motions in a straight line, and begin to tighten up, when cornering.

Many of the components in the McLaren MP4-12C were painstakingly engineered for the best efficiency, and the car itself saw countless hours in the F1-spec wind tunnel and over 1 million miles in endurance tests.

This doesn’t meant it will be a bare-bone track car like the famous F1, as on the inside McLaren spare no expense, and even added a novel portrait-mode seven-inch touch screen, which runs the Microsoft software thanks to a 1.6 GHz Intel processor. The IRIS infotainment system, as it is known, will offer a wide range of features and even WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity.

For those of you bent on purchasing this new model, there will be 35 authorized dealerships in 19 countries, and only 1,000 models are set to be made during 2011. You most probably won’t be in those lucky few, as Ron Dennis said there are already 1,700 pre-orders for the MP4-12C. Until 2011 though, you can check out the MP4-12C in the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: McLaren MP4-12C


McLaren begins webseries showcasing the development of the MP4-12C, first episode included

I’m sure most of you are pretty excited about the upcoming McLaren MP4-12C, the UK-based carmaker’s supercar which will take the fight to brands like Ferrari or Lamborghini.

In order to capitalize on that interest, the company has now began a webseries consisting of videos detailing the production process of the McLaren MP4-12C. In the first vidoe, the technical director Dick Glover shows the facilities of the McLaren headquarters, allowing a brief glimpse at the Formula 1 simulator, where engineers and drivers have worked on improving the cars of the motorsport team. He also says that the MP4-12C spent a lot of time there.

The video also reveals where the company has tested the upcoming supercar, taking it from extremes like the Arctic to Bahrain, and on famous tracks like the Nurburgring and even the Top Gear test track in Dunsfold.

Overall, an interesting video, which you can check out after the jump.


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McLaren denies the delay of the MP4-12C’s launch in the US

If you’ve been reading our blog for the last few months, you most definitely know about McLaren’s upcoming supercar, the MP4-12C, which will give rival carmakers Ferrari, Lamborghini or even its old partner Mercedes-Benz, a run for their money.

Set to be released in early 2011, the car is already eagerly anticipated all around the world. But recent reports indicated that the company might delay the launch of the supercar in the United States, as finding dealers willing to market the car was proving to be rather difficult.

But all of those rumors are nonsense, at least according to McLaren which revealed, through the voice of a spokesman, that: “All is on-track. Retailers are very keen and the customer list is strong.” He also took the chance to clear things up, as certain speculations indicated that McLaren pulled out of the December’s Los Angeles Motor Show, by saying that it has never intended to go there in the first place.

So there you have it US McLaren fans, the British supercar will appear in 2011 at a dealer near you.


New McLaren MP4-12C online website revealed

McLaren is definitely bent on promoting its upcoming supercar, the MP4-12C, by any means possible. It has just announced that a new, special website has been built in order to reveal all of the secrets behind the future supercar.

With the splash page revealing almost all of the mechanical systems in the car, we can also visit various sections revealing glamor photos of the model, both of the outside and the inside, but also keep up to date with all of the information regarding the MP4-12C, which will be going against rivals like the Mercedes SLS AMG or the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Take a look at it, but bear in mind you need the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player, and come back to tell us your opinion.


McLaren MP4-12C Gets Checked Out by Jay Leno, Ron Dennis and Anthony Sheriff

Earlier today we showed you the first details and pictures of the stunning new McLaren MP4-12C supercar, which will be arriving next year from the UK-based car maker and Formular 1 team. All of the details have certainly raised your appetite for some more footage of the performance car, and thankfully to YouTube, we can now share some interesting hands-on impressions from two men which were quintessential in its creation, Ron Dennis and Anthony Sheriff and famous car enthusiast and talk show host, Jay Leno.

The first video is of Jay and his visit to the McLaren UK headquarters.

You can find the other two videos by clicking the link below.